Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
In our official second week of H2W action, we scored with more winners from high to low prices. Here they are from the highest paying to the lowest paying winners (note that some are horses that were listed for the second time, having lost the first time on the list, further supporting our process of giving each H2W horse a second chance to score):
$11.80, Vantage, Cal Expo
$7.90, Mach Maiden Heaven, Fraser
$4.90, Warrawee Nimby, Batavia
$3.20, Dreaming Of Amy, Cal Expo
JJ Regard (5-1), Saratoga; Virtual Escape (6-1), Lebanon; Lil Kent (3-1), Nola (Fraser; Alotta Crackers (4-1), Fraser; Nola B (4-5), Lebanon; I’m The Reason (47-1), Cal Expo.
Succulent (18-1), Northlands; Flak Jacket (3-1), Northlands; Giles LS Hanover (7-1), Cal Expo; Cinnamon (4-1), Cal Expo; Tangram (6-1), Cal Expo.
The Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association (OHHA) began to broadcast between-race interviews, which they hope will “revolutionize the way fans handicap and understand harness racing in Chicago.” It started at Maywood Park recently with post-race interviewing of drivers and trainers.
The IHHA board decided the feature could help fans understand why drivers make certain decisions in races and to explain extraordinary circumstances.
“If a horse is the favorite to win a race and he races terribly and finishes last, I think fans want to know what’s going on,” said David McCaffrey, IHHA president. “It could be something as simple as a piece of paper on the track that spooks a horse and causes him to break stride or a knee boot that comes loose and impedes the horse’s gait. Either way, the fans deserve an explanation.”
By giving a podium to horsemen, the IHHA hopes the public will become more engaged and use interviews’ information when they handicap. The board also hopes that the interviews will bring more transparency to the sport. To that end, fans will eventually be able to submit questions via Facebook and Twitter.
“There are a lot of factors on the track,” said IHHA board member and driver Marcus Miller. “A driver might get boxed in or there could be an equipment malfunction. Drivers make mistakes sometimes too. But the public needs an explanation. We need them to know that we’re honest out there.”
For the past month, the IHHA has been conducting generic interviews. A collection of these interviews can be found on YouTube.
Cartoons by Thom Pye